Phoenix Rose clothing celebrates grand opening
One of Nevada County’s newest clothing stores will host a grand opening Friday.
Phoenix Rising Designs, a clothing design business started 12 years ago by Isaac Rappaport and Jessica Bottomley, opened a shop at 313 Broad St. in Nevada City May 15 named Phoenix Rose.
The store includes clothing for men, women and children made from natural cotton and silks dyed in the Indonesian batik style, which the couple studied in Bali for two years.
The couple’s performance background informed the clothing’s style, which includes flowing hems that allow for movement and classic Victorian styles emerging from West Coast festival performance sub-culture.
“We like to make things comfortable, where you can do high kicks and splits,” Bottomley said, adding that the colors are another important feature. “We’ve really treated it as wearable art, really thinking of the attention to detail and all those personal touches to make it more special.”
The duo met at a university in Santa Cruz in 1998 and started performing together as fire dancers and stilt walkers, designing their own costumes.
“We kind of inspired each other to be creative and explore the arts,” Rappaport said.
The couple left Santa Cruz to pursue their creative passions and traveled to their most creative destination and future home, Bali, where they would stay six months out of the year.
“It was really inspiring,” Bottomley said.
“Perhaps it’s that live volcanic energy, just creative energy where we get lots of visions and inspiration. We really wanted to create a lifestyle for ourselves to allow us to have a reason to go to these places, so that’s why we based out of there.”
The batik style allows for customized and interesting colors, Bottomley said.
“You can really personalize the fabric. (We) take white fabric and not only do we dye it, but have clarity to design exactly where the lines of the artwork are going to hit and complement the body.”
The fabric is also naturally flame resistant with its high cotton content.
“Synthetics melt upon touch. Ours is a nice, thicker cotton with a little bit of lycra. We did so many fire performances and even if there was a little flame when your pants touched the fire, you could just pat it out.”
Phoenix Rising Designs believes in collaboration with other artists and designers, including Melodia Designs and Asli Designs, which the store features.
“Basically just because of the work we do, we are connected to people doing similar things,” Bottomley said. “It’s fun to have a store to not only showcase our own work but to pick and choose our favorite things from our designer friends. We feel like it’s a complement to what we do.”
Bottomley and Rappaport moved to Nevada County a few years ago with the desire to settle down and raise their 2-year old and to make fewer visits to Bali.
“We were drawn to the community and had a lot of friends living here,” Rappaport said.
The grand opening, 5 to 9 p.m., Friday, will include live music, a raffle with prizes and possible snacks and refreshments.
“It feels great to finally be able to showcase a little bit of who we are,” Rappaport said.
“We spent all winter to make it big and expressive of our energy, so it feels good to finally open our doors.”
For information, visit http://phoenixrisingartists.com/
To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4230.
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